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OutKast Out in the “Wild”…Finally
Can we get a hey ya! OutKast is finally coming out with a new album.
The Atlanta hip hop-duo, who’ve been MIA from the music scene since 2003’s multiplatinum-selling, Grammy-winning double disc, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, announced Tuesday that the hugely anticipated follow-up album, Idlewild, will hit store shelves on Aug. 22.
“Mighty-O,” the lead single and first collaborative track for Andre “Andre 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton in over six years, will drop two weeks earlier.
The album will also serve as the soundtrack to their big-screen musical of the same name, which will unspool nationwide Aug. 25.
Idlewild the movie is a period piece set in a 1930s Georgia speakeasy. Benjamin and Patton play Percival and Rooster, a club owner and his piano-playing partner who fend off gangsters while pursuing their dreams of show-biz success.
Ving Rhames, Ben Vereen, Cicely Tyson, Patti LaBelle and Macy Gray also star. OutKast music video director and longtime pal Bryan Barber is making his feature writing and directing debut on the project.
The movie and album mark the first professional teaming of Dre, 31, and Big Boi, 30, since 2000’s Stankonia. The rappers produced Speakerboxxx/The Love Below as two solo albums packaged together but branded with the OutKast moniker.
Despite the disc’s massive success–selling more than 10 million copies, winning three Grammys, including Album of the Year and Best Rap Album, and spawning two massive hits–Dre’s “Hey Ya!” and Big Boi’s “The Way You Move”–the childhood pals seemed to drift apart, with success and shifting priorities putting a strain on their relationship.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Patton wanted to hit the road in support of Speakerboxxx, but Benjamin opted to move to Los Angeles and launch his acting career with roles in Be Cool and Four Brothers. Ultimately, Big Boi toured without him.
Benjamin eventually moved back to Atlanta and the two began working on Idlewild. The film has been in the can for nearly two years, its release postponed while OutKast perfected the accompanying album, which the distributor (Universal and HBO Films)and label (LaFace/Zomba) wanted to release jointly.
The delays have generated some bad buzz on the Internet, with several fans believing that the studio is dumping the film in the dog days of summer. OutKast and the filmmakers insist otherwise.
Aside from box-office receipts and Billboard bullets, the real question is whether Idlewild will serve as OutKast’s swan song–something the duo has definitely hinted it.
“The business has put a strain on our relationship,” Benjamin told EW. “We’re like brothers, though. We can argue, but we’re still gonna be together. I want Big Boi to do well inside and outside of OutKast. Because certain things don’t last forever, and you have to start preparing for that.”